Amazon Prime in the US has long included a range of instant streaming TV shows and movies with its Prime service and today this has launched in the UK as well. Amazon have taken the LoveFilm brand they have owned for several years and turned its catalogue and back end into Instant Video.
Prime Instant Video is launching with over 15,000 videos, and supports a wide range of devices including Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii and Wii U as part of many set-top boxes and on the web. If you are already an Amazon Prime customer it is worth looking at.
There is unfortunately a couple of problems. Firstly, despite the long list of supported devices there are some obviously missing devices – no Android phones or tablets, no Windows RT or Windows Phone, no Roku and the web viewing uses Microsofts’ Silverlight that will not run on some browsers. There are no plans to remedy this situation either, so if, like me, you have an Android phone, a Surface tablet and use a Roku with your TV you will get little use out of this.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly Amazon are putting up the price for their Prime service. In the past Prime cost £49 a year and after today its price is now £79. If you were a customer of LoveFilm before you will be getting a reduced rate overall but if not that is £30 a year price hike. If you are currently a customer you will not be charged more until your current year runs out, but then you will be moved to the higher price plan.
If you are already a Prime customer enjoy your streaming until your account runs out, but when it does, consider if an Amazon Prime subscription still makes sense for you.